It’s difficult. And you have no idea, really, just how difficult it will be. To leave your country behind. To leave friends. Family. You look in the mirror and you are madly in love. Your passion and your optimism lead you to believe everything will be just fine. With love like this, your world will just keep turning around and around.
But then issues start to creep in. First his family don’t really accept you. You’re different. Foreign. You can’t speak the local lingo and you have different ideas. Different traditions. A different outlook on life. A different world view. You see life through a different set of eyes. Through a different background. Through different circumstances. He loves you, and as the dutiful husband he grows more and more apart from his family, as you do too from yours.
The children are hard work. They too have their issues. The language. The new customs and traditions. Health issues spring up out of nowhere and sometimes, they have difficulties just fitting in.
You spend hours translating homework. Hours sitting in doctor’s surgeries. And very little time at all doing normal things, like you did before and that’s an enormous loss.
You feel alone. Few people help you. Friendships are rarely deep and come and go. You miss your land, your air, your sea. Things you thought had little consequence suddenly mean a lot more.
Opportunities reduce. Exhaustion increases. Life becomes one long bumpy road. You have a lot of children, but no village to rear them, instead you are out there, alone.
Disapproving looks. Little comments. Repeated rejection. You feel it. In your heart. In your pulse. In your soul.
You begin to be less independent. Less resourceful. You cling to your husband and he takes the brunt of all your anguish, your pain, your deep seated sadness.
You love him, but you crush him. He, too, is overcome with tiredness.
Sometimes there are glimmers of hope and torches shining in the darkness and when they suddenly fail to burn or are abruptly extinguished, you plunge into what feels like a never ending abyss. And worse still, you drag everybody else with you.
Our worlds feel so different. Yet we are joined at the hip all the same. Our love, though repeatedly tested, is still as strong, maybe even stronger than it ever was. We traipse and test new pathways, together, and we falter together. Tumble together. Catch one another. Trip one another up but land joined together, hand in hand.
Another punch has hit us. But we feel the same pain. The same disappointment. The same loss. We unite in a way I never could with another. And that makes it somehow bearable. Somehow endurable.
I am with you in this strange land. With its strange customs. With its strange ways.
I stand with you hand in hand.
Through the hard stares. Through the false starts. Through every battle ground.
Hand in hand. Always.